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One More Day, one more issue...

You may or may not be following the current One More Day arc over in the Spider-Man comics (a review of part 3 in the 4-part story can be found a few posts down on my new comics review blog, Comics Daily) but needless to say, if you were you'd probably have some strong opinions on it. The short of it is that current Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada is attempting to reset the status quo of the character to deal with what has long been seen as a problem - his marriage to Mary Jane. But there's a MAJOR twist just come to light, although one that's decidedly off-the-page...

Arguments have often flown left, right and centre about what being happily married to a supermodel actress does to Spidey's classic status - the everyman that gets no breaks despite doing all the right things. Quesada is the first EIC to tackle this issue head on. In the current storyline, titled One More Day, Aunt May's life hangs in the balance after she took a sniper's bullet meant for Peter, and Mephisto (the Marvel universe devil) has given Spidey and MJ one more day of a happy marriage to mull over whether they trade the whole shebang in - past, present and future - to save May's life.

Now, given Quesada's vocal opposition to the situation, there are no prizes for guessing where this is headed. Fandom is, as always, heavily vocal and largely negative on the issue, but it's a big uproar, even by comics' standards. Now, with one issue left in the story, a new twist has emerged as Babylon 5 guru and chief Spider-Man writer of over half a decade, J. Michael Straczynski, has apparantly weighed in to say that, well, he actually asked to have his name taken OFF the story that's supposed to be his swansong as writer...

His usenet post (visible here) is replicated below:

For whatever it's worth, the situation is not as clear cut as one
might hope. The reality of any writer working for any company, DC or
Marvel or Image, is that when you're handed a franchise character,
you're basically entrusted with something that the company owns, and
the company has final say in what happens to that character, because
as a writer, you're only there for a certain amount of time and then
the next guy has to come in. Spider-Man belongs to Marvel, not to me,
and at the end of the day, however much I may disagree with things,
and however much I may make it very CLEAR to all parties that I
disagree, I have to honor their position.

In the Gwen storyline, yes, I wanted it to be Peter's kids, Joe over-rode that, which is his right as EIC. I got the flack for that decision, but them's the breaks.

In the current storyline, there's a lot that I don't agree with, and I made this very clear to everybody within shouting distance at Marvel, especially Joe. I'll be honest: there was a point where I made the decision, and told Joe, that I was going to take my name off the last two issues of the OMD arc. Eventually Joe talked me out of that decision because at the end of the day, I don't want to sabotage Joe or Marvel, and I have a lot of respect for both of those. As an executive producer as well as a writer, I've sometimes had to insist that my writers make changes that they did not want to make, often loudly so. They were sure I was wrong. Mostly I was right. Sometimes I was wrong. But whoever sits in the editor's chair, or the executive producer's chair, wears the pointy hat of authority, and as Dave Sim once noted, you can't argue with a pointy hat.

So at the end of the day, all one can do is try to do the best one can with the notes one is given, and try to execute them in a professional way...because who knows, the other guy may be right. The only thing I *can* tell you, with absolute certainty, is that what Joe does with
Spidey and all the rest of the Marvel characters, he does out of a genuine love of the character. He's not looking to sabotage anything, he's not looking to piss off the fans, he genuinely believes in the rightness of his views not out of a sense of "I'm the boss" but
because he loves these characters and the Marvel universe.

And right or wrong, you have to respect that.


I'm no big fan of JMS, but if even he disagrees with Quesada on the matter, well, maybe there's something to be said for the outcry...

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Of course, this is the issue that apparently led to Quesada being grilled & booed for twenty-five minutes of an X-MEN panel earlier this year (as well as the whole Spider-Man panel).

And why does he want Spidey single So he can 'do things like "have sex, or download porn."'

By Somebody
December 05, 2007 @ 3:33 pm

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I guess this means no more washing the spidey suit:

By Andrew
December 09, 2007 @ 6:27 am

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